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Contemporary orthodontic care should aim to produce not only straight teeth, but also a harmonious smile and balanced facial contours that enhance each patient’s overall appearance.
In the long run, orthodontic problems can affect not only the attractiveness of the smile, but also the health of the teeth, gums, jaws, and body in general. Thus, orthodontic care also improves oral, dental and general health, and in addition, it prevents the development of problems that can lead to tooth loss or other secondary complications.
Amongst other things, orthodontic care can lead to an improvement of:
A primary objective of orthodontic care is to provide each patient with the most attractive smile possible.
Fair or not, our society places a premium on appearance, and studies have found that a person’s smile is one of the most important characteristic s taken into account when forming a first impression. Not surprisingly then, a person with an attractive smile tends to project more confidence and recei ve more favourable judgment from peers.
It is not uncommon for patients to feel shy or self-conscious about smiling before receiving orthodontic care, but as their smile blossoms throughout the process, so too does their confidence. A brilliant smile is the tangible asset at the end of treatment, and while the improved health and functional ity of the bite is equally invaluable, this inevitably becomes an afterthought for our patients as they glow when they see themselves smiling back in th e mirror.
Beyond improving the attractiveness of the smile itself, orthodontic treatment can also enhance the overall facial appearance by simply moving teeth to their correct position.
Properly aligning teeth and making them fit well together are two important goals of orthodontic treatment. In accomplishing these goals, the short- and long-term health of the teeth, gums, and jaw are optimized by:
Decreasing the chance of developing cavities and gum disease by making brushing and flossing easier and more effective
Preventing abnormal tooth wear by allowing the top and bottom teeth to work together in harmony
Reducing the likelihood of tooth and lip damage by properly aligning protruding teeth
Improving the likelihood of having a healthy jaw joint (TMJ) by placing teeth in an optimal position for proper TMJ function
There is a window of opportunity from about age 6 to age 14 when tooth and jaw development problems – such as asymmetries and space deficiencies – can be corrected or even totally prevented with simple, comfortable, noninvasive orthodontic approaches that take advantage of the growth potential that still exists at a young age.
Such conservative approaches can yield outstanding esthetic and functional results which would not be possible later on in life without resorting to more invasive procedures such as surgery or tooth extractions.
Beyond improving the appearance and health of the teeth, mouth and face, orthodontics can have a positive impact on general health as well.
A narrow upper jaw can prevent a person from breathing properly. In a child, inadequate breathing can have a detrimental effect on the growth & development of not only the facial structures, but also the body as a whole. By promoting proper jaw development with a quick, comfortable, noninvasive orthodontic procedure, breathing can be improved, allowing for proper growth & development to ensue.
Like breathing problems, snoring and sleep apnea problems can have detrimental effects on a person’s health. In many cases of snoring and sleep apnea, orthodontic care can be helpful.
When teeth do not fit together properly, it can sometimes be very difficult or even impossible to properly chew food. Improper chewing can lead to digestive problems which in turn can have detrimental effects on overall health. By putting the teeth in proper position via orthodontic treatment, the ease and efficiency of chewing can be greatly improved.
It can be difficult or impossible to correctly pronounce certain words when teeth are not in proper alignment or do not fit well together. By correctly positioning the teeth and perfecting the bite, orthodontic treatment can help resolve pronunciation problems.